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October 20, 2004

CONTACT: RACHAELE RAYNOFF, PRESS SECRETARY (212) 720-3471, fax: (212) 720-3219

at Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards

(New York, New York – October 20, 2004) Amanda M. Burden, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission received the prestigious Design Patron award at the 2004 National Design Awards at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum yesterday. Paul Warwick Thompson, director of the museum, presented the award to Ms. Burden in recognition of her devotion to planning New York City communities and her ability to channel growth by fostering design excellence and by nurturing creativity to enhance the city’s residential, commercial and cultural landscape.

The Design Patron Award was created in 2001 as one of the National Design Awards to celebrate an individual’s profound and meaningful long-term commitment to design. The award recipient is chosen by Thompson annually. Ms. Burden joins previous winners Stanley Marcus, hotelier Andre Balazs and Gordon Segal of Crate & Barrel.

"As a civic leader widely recognized for her generous community spirit and dedication to design excellence, Amanda’s city planning continues to position New York City as the great cosmopolitan center of capital and culture. Amanda is the ideal person to carry on our tradition and we applaud her for her design activism," stated Thompson.

An urban planner and civic activist, Ms. Burden is Chair of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning. She is an honorary member of the AIA, American Institute of Architects, and a member of the AICP, the American Institute of Certified Planners. In her current position, Ms. Burden encourages quality design to foster business district growth and is a champion of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s edict that good design is good economic development. Ms. Burden’s focus, like the Mayor’s, is city-wide and includes major projects as well as zoning protections for numerous low-density neighborhoods facing development pressures.

Ms. Burden’s influence and persistence in creating better communities is shown in every project she oversees. Specifically, Ms. Burden has spearheaded the redevelopment of Downtown Brooklyn as a vibrant business district as well the transformation of the former 2,200 acre Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island into a world class multi-use park. Working with the Mayor, Burden has created new rules to facilitate the transformation of the High Line into an elevated park and crafted an urban design master plan to revitalize Brooklyn's Greenpoint and Williamsburg waterfront with new housing and parkland. Hudson Yards, the vast underutilized area bounded roughly by West 42nd Street and West 30th Street, Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River, is another crucial area for which Burden has developed a comprehensive master plan to produce commercial space, convention sports and cultural facilities, 12,000 new units of housing and a network of public open space and parkland.

From 1983 to 1990, Ms. Burden was responsible for the planning and design of Battery Park City and oversaw the design of all open spaces, including the Esplanade and the 30 acres of parkland. In 1987, Ms. Burden was honored by the New York Society of Architects with the Sidney Strauss Award recognizing her "outstanding achievement for the benefit of the architectural profession."

Ms. Burden was officially honored, along with Milton Glaser, the Lifetime Achievement winner, and the winners of five other awards, at a gala dinner held at the Museum in New York City.

About Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational programs, exhibitions, and publications. Founded in 1897 by Amy, Eleanor, and Sarah Hewitt–granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper–as part of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the museum has been a branch of Smithsonian since 1967.

The National Design Awards program was originally launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council. It celebrates design in various disciplines as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world, and seeks to increase national awareness of design by educating the public and promoting excellence, innovation and lasting achievement.

About City Planning:
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.

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